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RCIPS Financial Crime Unit Advises Public to Exercise Extra Caution this Holiday Season

13th December, 2023 Police Headlines

This year, as always, with the increased commercial activity of the holiday season, comes increased risk from financial related crimes. The RCIPS Financial Crime Investigation Unit is reminding the public to exercise caution with financial transactions, and for businesses and their staff to remain vigilant for business related fraud.


The Individual – Credit/Debit Card Scams

The RCIPS has seen a marked increase in credit and debit card scams. Of primary concern are those circumstances where only the card details, not the physical card, are taken. Having the physical card in your possession is therefore no guarantee that you are not a victim of credit/debit card theft.


Below are a few tips to help protect the card holder from debit and credit card scams:

1. Never share your card details or PIN with others.

2. Always keep your card in sight when making payments.

3. Monitor your account for payments you don’t recognise. If possible, take advantage of transaction alerts provided through email or a bank approved app.

4. If you see a card payment you do not recognise, report it immediately to your bank.

5. Avoid, as best as possible, making payments with your card via phone. Opt otherwise to do so through secure recognisable platforms.

6. Unexpected emails, texts or calls from your bank should be viewed as suspicious. Check with your bank if you are unsure, before responding to texts and emails especially.


Businesses – Business Email Compromise (BEC) Frauds

The RCIPS are also becoming increasingly concerned at the level of sophistication used by International fraudsters targeting businesses in the Cayman Islands through the use of Business Email Compromise or BEC Frauds.


These frauds involve the use of emails purporting to be sent by legitimate businesses and individuals, often arriving from known and or previously used email addresses. The emails often explain that the suppliers are changing their bank accounts from one Cayman based bank to another and that future invoices should be settled via the new account.


Remember these tips to help avoid you or your business falling victim to such a scam:

1. If you receive such an email, especially one with new banking/payment instructions, take the time to telephone the known supplier and double check that the email correspondence is genuine.

2. Care should especially be taken when clicking on links and attachments, even from seemingly known sources.

3. Multi-factor authentication for business transactions should be seriously considered at this time.

4. We would also remind the public, that if an online entity asks you to deposit monies into your bank account and to then transfer the money overseas, you may be committing offenses of money laundering.


Anyone who believes they may be a victim of a financial crime is encouraged to contact the Financial Crime Investigation Unit at RCIPS.FCU@rcips.ky or 949-8797.


Visit https://www.rcips.ky/crime-prevention-fraud-awareness for more tips on fraud awareness and prevention.